Flooding alert as Yorkshire battered by 70mph storms

Severe gales swept Yorkshire yesterday as strong winds increasing to gale force with gusts reaching as high as 70mph battered the region.

Sandbags were placed along the River Ouse in York after heavy rain caused water levels to soar.

The Ouse was nearly 13ft above its summer level yesterday morning and expected to peak last night. A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said; ‘‘The situation is that although there are high river levels in most places river levels are now falling on the River Ouse. In York it will peak at about 7pm.

“We are monitoring the situation but it is what you would expect at this time of year.’’

Among the precautions taken were the placing of sandbag bunds across Clementhorpe and the entrance of Tower Gardens, while the floodgates in Peckitt Street were also brought into operation. Riverside paths, Rowntree Park and St George’s Field car park were all closed, but other parks were reopened following the high winds.

In North Yorkshire police said the main problem was trees falling on roads, leading to some minor disruption for motorists. At 1.15pm at Grimston Lane, near Malton, a member of the public arrived with a chainsaw and chopped up a tree that had been causing an obstruction clearing the carriageway.

In West Yorkshire police said building control officials from Leeds City Council had been called to assess the damage caused to the side of a building in Chadwick Street which had some of its tiles blown off.

Today most places will be dry with sunny spells, after any mist and fog has lifted. Between Wednesday and Friday it will be mild, unsettled and windy, with bands of rain spreading northeast. It will be brighter and colder in the north.